Malaysian government-backed Penjana Kapital said Thursday it has entered into an agreement with Indonesia venture capital firm AC Ventures, to pave way for Malaysian start-ups to access the Indonesian market.

Penjana Kapital said in a statement that AC Ventures is one of the eight venture capital fund managers selected as part of the Dana Penjana Nasional, a program that is administered by Penjana Kapital.

According to the statement, AC Ventures has partnered with Translink Capital and Vertex Force to invest in Dana Penjana Nasional’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Frontier Fund focused on funding promising Malaysian start-ups to, among others, expand into Indonesia and form partnerships within the regional technology ecosystem.

With nearly 100 companies in its portfolio, AC Ventures has backed the likes of Carsome, Xendit, Stockbit, Eden Farm, Ula, and many other unicorns.

“We are pleased with AC Ventures’ decision to partner up with Penjana Kapital and invest in the Malaysian start-up space. These funds are crucial to spur our start-up ecosystem, by encouraging innovation and equipping Malaysian innovators with the necessary resources to scale and succeed, particularly in Indonesia, the largest consumer market in Southeast Asia,” said Malaysia Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz who witnessed the partnership signing ceremony.

“By tapping on the power of AC Ventures’ local knowledge and network, Malaysia’s start-ups stand a higher chance of go-to-market success in a $1 trillion economy,” he added.

According to the statement, through AC Ventures’ investment, the SEA Frontier Fund will double down on its strategy of identifying and funding start-ups with the potential for cross-border regional expansion.

The SEA Frontier Fund has also attracted commitments from strategic foreign investors including a global conglomerate from South Korea.

The SEA Frontier Fund, whose current fund size is 200 million MYR ($47.96 million), aims to raise an additional 100 million MYR ($23.98 million) in the next three months.

Meanwhile, Penjana Kapital said, it sees opportunities for Malaysian start-ups in a few identified sectors under “Making Indonesia 4.0” such as automotive, agriculture, and food, as well as healthcare.

According to the statement, Dana Penjana Nasional has, thus far, raised a total commitment of MYR995.4 million (US$239.05 million) for its eight funds as of October 2021. Of the total, MYR562.7 million ($135.13) came from foreign and private local investors.

Penjana Kapital also said that it has approved 30 investments valued at RM267.2 million ($64.17 million), and two of them have recently attained “unicorn” status.

Penjana Kapital was incorporated by Malaysian government in 2020 as part of its initiative to catalyze the development of innovative start-up companies. It aims to accelerate Malaysia’s economic recovery by attracting funding from international and local investors to facilitate the growth of start-ups in the local venture capital space and enhancing Malaysia’s value proposition as a hub for innovative companies to launch their business, scale-up and internationalize.

Malaysian government entities MaGIC & Penjana Kapital collaborate to offer seed stage startups better funding access